The 13th-ranked (Class 2A) St. Edmond softball team kept their perfect North Central Conference record intact at Rogers Park Friday night, but it was far from easy.
The Gaels relied on a pair of early runs and another strong pitching performance out of junior Amanda Lansman to turn back Clarion-Goldfield, 2-1.
Jaci Stumpf and Anna Yung each contributed two hits, while Stumpf scored twice and stole three bases. Lansman improved to 6-1 with a two-hit, eight-strikeout performance.
—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
St. Edmond’s Lily Peterson lays down a bunt in the third inning against Clarion-Goldfield. For more photos, visit CU at messengernews.net
"I think it really goes to show the leadership of our experienced girls that, even when things are not clicking, we find ways to win," SEHS head coach Paul Hunt said. "Amanda was great again, and both Jaci and Anna really stepped up for us at the plate.
"Our defense made big-time plays when we needed them to and that's important. The hits, they'll come once we can get into a groove."
Stumpf reached on an infield single, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored with Maggie Harvey drove a ball deep into the outfield. In the third, the exact same thing happened, this time it was a single by Harvey that plated Stumpf.
ST. EDMOND 2, CLARION-GOLDFIELD 1
Clarion-Goldfield000 010 0 - 1 2 4
St. Edmond101 000 x - 2 4 3
Chloe Johnson (L, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 K, 0 BB) and Lexi Gatewood; Amanda Lansman (W, 6-1, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 8 K, 0 BB) and Maggie Harvey. 2B - SE: Anna Yung.
But that was all the runs St. Edmond (7-1 overall, 5-0 in NCC) would get, as Chloe Johnson limited the damage over the final three innings.
Johnson allowed just four hits in all, striking out three. She pitched out of jams in the fifth and sixth, leaving runners on third base each time.
"We need to do a better job adjusting as we see what the pitcher is throwing," Hunt said. "We've seen varying degrees of pitching already this year and we haven't done a great job of battling."
Clarion-Goldfield (0-6, 0-6) had lost its last two games 20-2, but put a threat into the Gaels by cutting the lead to 2-1 in the fifth. Brook Boyd scored that inning, but Yung turned a double play to get out of the frame.
In the seventh, the Cowgirls left the tying run on third. Last year, they dropped both games to St. Edmond by a combined 24-1 score.
Lansman now has 60 strikeouts in just over 46 innings pitched. She retired the first nine batters she faced, five by strikeout.
The Gaels return to action today at the CYO against Carroll Kuemper in Carroll at 11:30 a.m. Clarion-Goldfield travels to Algona on Monday.